The ancient Aztecs – the first documented avocado eaters – reputedly used the fruit as a sexual stimulant and called the avocado tree ahuacuatl, or testicle tree. While folks today largely attribute this name to the way the fruits dangle low on the tree – and often in pairs – the Aztecs may really have been on to something. In a study conducted by the California Avocado Commission, 63% of the expert psychologists, nutritionists and scientists surveyed considered the avocado an aphrodisiac, and 60% of respondents said that they knew of specific cases in which a person’s love life had improved after consuming the yummy fruit. As if we needed more reasons to break out the guacamole!
Modern science gives us an indication that the Aztec’s take on the avocado vis-a-vis amor may have been spot on. Avocados have a very high concentration of nutrients that are key to sexual health, including Vitamin E (sometimes known as the “sex vitamin” as it promotes the production of sex hormones which support attraction, mood and desire), beta carotene and magnesium. An avocado also has 2.4 grams of protein for every 1/2 cup of fruit – essential for any exercise – and packs more potassium than a banana.
For you word buffs out there, the Aztec word ahuacuatl morphed into the Spanish word aguacate which became avocado in the US. But no matter who called it what, the fruit’s amorous association stayed with it through the centuries, so much so that in the 1920s an American avocado advertising campaign denied the fruit’s aphrodisiac properties to tempt people into trying what sounded like very risque fare. The reverse psychology worked spectacularly and avocados became a coveted commodity.
Todos Santos has large numbers of avocado trees and our many fine restaurants know how to use the fruit to splendid effect in their savory fare. So come on down to enjoy the sun, enjoy the surf and enjoy the avocados! What? Don’t like avocados? Never fear – we have excellent strawberries too!